And here we thought pink slime was bad. Turns out that stuff pales (heh) in comparison to Steak-umms, which the name alone should tell you is bad news. For the uninitiated, Steak-umms are not dog food, but are instead kind of like a frozen DIY Philly cheesesteak. But in a trademark-infringement suit this week that pitted Steak-umms owners against a South Philly cheesesteak and pizza shop named Steak 'Em Up, the ugly truth of the mass-produced sandwich steak was revealed. And the details are pretty bleak.
In courtroom proceedings, the composition of the meat came to light. The Daily News reports that the stuff is:
[C]hopped and formed emulsified meat product that is comprised of beef trimmings left over after an animal is slaughtered and all of the primary cuts, such as tenderloin, filet, and rib eye, are removed ... The emulsified meat is pressed into a loaf and sliced, frozen and packaged.
After learning that a federal judge denied Steak-umms' claims, their inventor, Gene Gagliardi, was quoted saying, “He did no justice to the meat world!” and continued to rant about how the poor quality of meat in cheesesteaks drove him to create his own sandwich steak. “You couldn't serve it to children because the meat was so tough you'd drag it out of the sandwich and choke on it," Gagliardi is quoted saying. "This was definitely a safety feature."
Like most other cheesesteak slingers in South Philly, its a safe bet that Steak 'Em Up sources thinly sliced or “chipped” rib eye from a local purveyor for its cheesesteaks. Steak-umms takes all the parts that no one wants and emulsifies and presses it together into thin, frozen planks of mystery meat. You decide who’s really done the meat world injustice.
Steak-hmm [Daily News]
Steaks were high in meat company's suit vs. Philly chain [Daily News]